FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2022
CONTACT: Dan McLagan
Macon Army Veteran And Congressional Candidate Wayne Johnson Joins Middle Georgia Honor Flight Team In Welcoming Home Veterans of Three Wars
‘It Was an Incredible Honor to Be There’
MACON, Ga. – It has been nearly three years since the Middle Georgia Honor Flight team was able to fulfill its mission of sending war Veterans to Washington to visit their respected memorials. Like many initiatives, Covid restrictions shut down the operations of this organization founded in 2018.
Late last Saturday night, the first flight of a dozen Veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam landed at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, and Wayne Johnson was there to meet them.
“When we started Honor Flights out of Macon, we invited congressmen, senators, mayors, and other local political officials to come greet these great Americans, and no one responded,” said Ben Sandifer, a board member with Middle Georgia Honor Flight. “Wayne was the first person involved in politics to join us, and by doing so he honored the Veterans and their escorts who were returning from Washington”.
Johnson, a Vietnam Era U.S. Army veteran and Republican candidate in the May 24th primary for the 2nd Congressional seat, said the honor was all his.
“It was an incredible moment to be there and welcome these Veterans home from a long day of revisiting their service to our country at the memorials in Washington,” said Johnson. “After winning the primary in May, I plan to be on the next flight with these honorable servants as an escort guardian. As a United States Congressman, it will be my honor to greet future Honor Flights upon their arrival in DC.”
Middle Georgia Honor Flight works out of Macon, one of 125 hubs in the country. The group charters a flight and sends a guardian for every veteran on the flight. There is also a Flight Captain from the group that leads the flight, along with a nurse and a wheelchair for every veteran.
A charter flight left Macon on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. The group landed in Baltimore and boarded a charter bus that carried them to the different war memorials. On this flight, according to Sandifer, were several World War II Veterans, as well as Veterans from both Korea and Vietnam. The one-day flight and support cost around $15,000, all paid for with donations raised by Middle Georgia Honor Flight.
“What was really interesting is that one of the WWII Veterans, with emotion in his voice, said this was the first time he had experienced a welcome home reception as a military service member,” said Johnson. “He told me that when they came home from the war, there was no one to welcome them. The veteran said he knew there were parades in New York and other places, but he and his Army buddies from Middle Georgia just came home and went back to work.”
Johnson mingled with the crowd of about 100, including a local Girl Scout troop and a Patriot Guard of Honor made up by other military Veterans, while they waited on the delayed flight.
“This was not campaigning. This is about serving with a bunch of people who are invested in our Veterans and want to see them treated with great respect”, said Johnson.
Johnson is a rock-solid conservative candidate in the Republican Primary in the 2nd Congressional District covering Middle and Southwest Georgia. Johnson served as a Senior Official within the Trump Administration, was an officer in the U.S. Army and is an Eagle Scout.
Johnson obtained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Mercer University and his MBA from Emory University. He was born, raised and currently resides in Macon.